These are trying times for us Catholics. But as a careful student of Church history could tell you, the times have always been trying.
The advice of the Apostle Paul remains as useful to us as it was to the Philippians: “Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling.” We cannot allow the moral or doctrinal failings of the princes of the Church to slacken our steadfast pursuit of heaven.
However, we can, and must, storm heaven with our prayers. Prayers that those good priests and bishops who are obedient to God and faithful to their vows of consecration may find strength in these evil times to continue to strive for holiness. Prayers that God will raise up more men like them as our future pastors. Prayers that these men will work to purify the Church from within. Prayers for graces for them and for us. Prayers that we, too, will persevere in striving toward holiness.
In addition to our prayers, we should each be offering some portion of our daily works and sufferings as acts of reparation for the damage done to souls and to the Church. As these sins cry to heaven, so too, our offerings will rise to heaven and may yet be the trigger for a great renewal.
Frankly, as donors to the MEFV you have already begun that work. Because of your financial sacrifice of donations to the MEFV, more men and women are in religious life, daily praying for the sanctity of men in the priesthood.
I thank you and encourage you to persevere in your giving to the MEFV. Not only for the good of our individual grant recipients, but for the good of the whole Church.
JOIN THE SUSTAINERS CIRCLE AND THE LEGACY SOCIETY
One of the most powerful ways you can support the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations is by joining The Sustainers Circle. Members pledge an amount of their choosing to give each month, and those monthly donations are charged automatically against a credit card or bank account they authorize. You can change your recurring monthly gift at any time. By joining The Sustainers Circle, you create a reliable source of income that helps us make the boldest and most responsible funding decisions.
Membership in The Legacy Society ensures that your commitment to vocations will survive your own lifetime. Legacy Society members have designated the MEFV in their wills or as beneficiaries of life insurance or other accounts of their estates. Our legal name is Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations, Inc. and our tax ID is 51-0612966.
The Grim Reality
MEFV keeps our focus on our own apostolate: getting more men and women with vocations into formation as quickly as possible. But we also think it’s important for our supporters to understand the big picture—that the soaring costs of college have made it almost impossible for any but the wealthiest families to send their children to college without loans. MEFV grantees are not uniquely debt-burdened or financially naïve, and they are the future of our beloved Church.
$31,231 average cost in 2017 for one year at a private, non-profit college
$1,832 comparable figure in the early 1970s, adjusted to 2017 constant dollars
129 percent rate of increase for average private four-year college between 1988-2017 (22 percentage points higher than general rate of inflation)
213 percent comparable figure for public institutions
$39,400 average student loan debt for the class of 2017
$1.48 trillion national total of student debt ($620 billion more than the entire credit card debt of the nation)
MEVF at a Glance
$5,094,000 Total value of all grants made to date
$300K Average annual operating budget
$23,000 Average grant size
221 Total number of grants made to date
102 Number of MEFV grantees currently in formation
2 Average number of applicants MEFV must turn down for every grant made
A super-simple but powerful way to increase your support to the MEFV
May we have your email address? We promise not to sell it—just as we have never sold our supporters’ street addresses.
MEFV already operates lean: our founders still run the organization out of their home and we don’t have full-time staff. But the more we can shift from paper to digital, the more money that currently goes to printing and postage can go to grants for vocations instead. We’re in the midst of a major push to modernize and digitize our communications; we hope you will be inspired to be part of that effort.
Send us email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Shift me to digital!” in the subject line.